BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) — An anesthetic turned party drug, Ketamine is now finding its way to help PTSD and depression.
Complete Ketamine Solutions in Brentwood says they have seen so much success they are expanding their business.
Veteran Brian Hedrick just received his last Ketamine treatment.
“I’ve seen a lot of violence in my life, I’ve seen a lot of bad things, experienced a lot of bad things,” he told News 2.
As a medic in the air force, Hedrick says he started experiencing depression and later PTSD.
“I volunteered to die you know, but we are looking at six suicide attempts here. I’m not proud of that.”
Hedrick says doctors tried everything to help him.
“Every medication trial that you can think of, I’ve been through ECT’s or shock treatments if you want to call it that. I’ve had an implant in my chest. It’s a vagus nerve stimulator, it’s an implantation, it takes a wire going up to the vagus nerve, goes up into the middle of the brain and they thought it would help with brain chemicals regulating me you know, it didn’t work.”
That’s when he turned to Ketamine.
“It’s probably the best medicine to hit mental health in over 50 years,” anesthetist Clint Fletcher told News 2.
He is also the clinical director at Complete Ketamine Solutions. Fletcher says since the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Spravato, a nasal spray related to the anesthetic Ketamine, demand for treatments has increased.
“We went from doing 10 to 12 infusions a month to 40 which is substantial,” he said.
The challenge is overcoming the reputation of the drug that many know as a horse tranquilizer and on the streets as “Special K” that is a challenge.
“Isn’t that a horse tranquilizer, isn’t that a party drug? Yeah its been all those things,” stated Fletcher.
However, he says the dosage levels administered in the clinics are well below the dosage typically used as an anesthetic and patients remain conscious throughout the treatment.
“It’s kind of like a dream, you kind of feel like you are floating,” Hedrick explained.
Now six IV treatments later, Hedrick says Ketamine has changed his life.
“It has helped me, it’s monumental, it’s saved my life,” he stated.
The clinic does require an official diagnosis from the patient’s provider before treatment.
They offer two types of treatments at Complete Ketamine Solutions, they start at around $2,000.
They launched a veteran program a few months ago, which offers the treatment for free to one veteran a month.
The office in Maryland Farms will be moving downtown in a few weeks to meet the increase in demand that they’ve seen.